My name is Michael Sykora and I’m a hired killer. Hell of an introduction, right? You’re probably picturing me as a heartless brute; a sociopath without a conscience. I’m not here to argue, though I’d like you to know I don’t think that’s a fair assumption. I was a regular guy once. And I feel things deeper than I’m comfortable admitting to anyone, including my best friends.
Several years ago, back in my other life, my fiancé was raped and murdered by a repeat offender who knew how to play the system. As I stared down at Christina’s battered body on that morgue slab, something in me died along with her. I saw the children we’d never have and heard the stories we’d never tell. After that, all I could think about was revenge.
I eventually got my own form of justice. I’d like to say it healed me and I went back to being the man I’d been. But that man was long gone.
Perception is a strange thing. Not long ago, I could look at the world and find all the good; the woman I loved, a career I excelled at, blue skies, and the smell of orange blossoms in the air. A stranger’s act of rage changed everything for me. Now the world is skewed the other way. I see abused kids living on the streets and women terrified their rapists will return. People shouldn’t have to live in fear of someone else’s fury. I try to balance the scales by ridding the world of serial murderers, rapists, and pedophiles. People whose crimes are far worse than mine.
Earlier I told you I’m a hired killer. That’s not completely accurate. Sometimes I kill for free, because there are people who simply should not be allowed to live.
My best friend, Isaac, is a straight arrow homicide cop. My other best friend, Sean, is a cold-blooded killer. I straddle the middle ground. We’re an odd kind of three musketeers.
I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. My life isn’t all sadness and murder. I hang out with outspoken prostitutes and a comic transvestite whose sex appeal makes me a little uncomfortable. I have the best surrogate mother on the planet. The total amount of money in my offshore bank account has more zeros behind the numbers than I’ll ever need. I meet homeless people with hearts of gold and personalities that shine. And, at the end of the day, I’m okay with who I am. Maybe I’m taking a different route than you approve of. But what I do matters. That’s more than a lot of people can say. Right?
Let’s be honest here, just you and me. If your child was beaten, raped, and murdered, would you trust the justice system? Or would you call me?